Today was the last day of ECFE for the summer. I walked out the door with happy tears in my eyes and was trying the whole last song not to breakdown in front of the other parents when I was reliving the memories and changes in mine and my children’s lives. It was also such a great year for my daughter and my son, and such a great experience for myself.

My son who was just 9 months when we started ECFE was having trouble leaving me when he was in the sibling care during my daughters class.  He was still having some bottle refusal issues when we started and had just started to master crawling.   Now he is 16 months old, can drink out of a regular cup by himself, runs instead of walks, and is learning how to talk.  His life is totally different and he is a comfortable happy boy.

My daughter was so anxious when we started the class because she had just had the trauma of separating from me at a daycare center and now we had to ease her back into trusting that she can be separated from me without being afraid I would leave her there.  She had to relearn how to trust adults and get corrected by someone other than mom without breaking down into tears. She was just learning how to sit and follow directions, she was just learning how to join in imaginative play with other children and make friends that she chose herself.  Now she can be separated from mom without blinking an eye, or even pausing from her play with her friends at school.  She simply says, “Bye Mom!”  instead of clinging to me in tears when I had to leave the room.  She has learned how to trust other adults again and has regained her funny, outgoing personality, it was wonderful for her.

For myself, I started out the year shell shocked from just becoming a stay at home (professional mom) mom, trying to re-identify myself and feel confident about my decision, instead of the initial embarrassment I felt about it.  I had to figure out how to balance maintaining myself, my home, and my children without the break you get while at work.  I know I have become a better parent, more patient, more present, and enjoying my time with my children.  I went from being frazzled and disorganized on outings to scheduled and prepared when I leave the house.

I am a different person, more comfortable in my parenting, my daughter is older, more self confident and happy, my son is no longer a baby, he is adjusted and comfortable leaving me. What a year, what wonderful changes, and I am glad I got to be here full time to experience each of them.  *Happy Tears*